Lunar Fox looks to buck trend

Normally when a two-year-old wins the 1400-metre group 2 Sires Produce Stakes its future lies over that distance and further.

But Flemington scorer Lunar Fox is looking to buck that trend on Bendigo's rich Golden Mile race day.

Lunar Fox scored at 25-1 under Brett Prebble for the O'Sullivans that day and the form has since been boosted by the success of the runner-up Larimer Street at Moonee Valley.

Lunar Fox winning at Flemington.Credit:AAP

Now the son of Foxwedge drops back in trip to 1000 metres in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush, a race open to VOBIS-qualified horses only. Doubtless the restricted nature of the field and the valuable prizemoney have proved an attractive incentive.

UNDER THE GUARD?

If official ratings are any realistic guide, then the long-time racetrack absentee Shoko might slip under the guard in Bendigo's competitive Gold Bracelet for mares.

Now trained by Nick Ryan and to be ridden by Noel Callow, Shoko has not run since finishing down the track at Flemington in early June last year.

She gets her rating of 89 – higher than the rest of the field bar Twitchy Frank, who has to concede her three kilos – from her success in the group 2 Tesio Stakes at Moonee Valley.

She is either a light of other days, and her high rating does her no favours, or she will be ready to fire fresh. Time will tell.

LOCAL HEROES

One side effect of the coronavirus lockdown and associated travel restrictions is that the state's top riders will all be in action at Bendigo rather than chasing group 1 glory in Sydney.

And one of the best in the business – Ben Melham – will be looking to score in the biggest race of the day, the $150,000 Golden Mile, on that good mare Princess Jenni.

David Brideoake's charge disappointed at the Valley last time, but she has got group 1-winning form against her own sex. This is a hugely competitive race with dangers abounding on every line of the racebook, so Melham will have to be at his best to get her home.

TOPICAL PICK

Given the economic devastation being wrought by the coronavirus Matt Ellerton and Simon Zahra's Debt'n'Deficit might be a topical tip for the $150,000 Bendigo Guineas.

But the government, hoping for more commercial activity, would surely be tipping Spend from the Team Hawkes stable in the same contest!

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